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qlorance12

solid state for the people?

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The STR is so-so, about 100MB/s (Which is great, but relative to the price, it's not fantastic), but the seeks are the killer! They are measured in ns, yes, nanoseconds. So for database use and the like, a platypus Qikdrive would be a great solution. One problem is the volatile memory. It comes with an external poweradapter, so what i'd do is get a 500VA UPS just for the Qikdrive. That way, if you lose power everythin on the drive stays. And have the OS regularly copy what ever you are storing over to the harddisk.

L.

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Cenatek makes similar devices. A 2 GB Rocket Drive DL and separately purchased 4 x 512 MB Micron PC133 provide the greatest value (<$900). Like the Platypus, the Rocket Drive has extremely low acess times. Transfer rates are also limited to ~100 MB/sec. by the 32-bit/33MHz PCI bus. :(

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...so what i'd do is get a 500VA UPS just for the Qikdrive. That way, if you lose power everythin on the drive stays. And have the OS regularly copy what ever you are storing over to the harddisk.

L.

You might want to consider a UPS on the system as a whole, so that the system can gracefully close the database server and then copy the volitile disk to hard disk if the power outage lasts longer than, say, five minute...

Future Shock

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www.bitmicro.com have ATA133, SCSI, FC and SAN edisks of various capacities. Unfortunately have not had the time to order an evaluation yet. I'm looking at the trade off between ATA and SCSI-UW in costs and performance. Battery backup, so need to change them regularly.

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Yes, the BitMicro drives sound very promising. I looked into them when I was researching possibilities for a ultrafast Photoshop scratch disk. But, like all of the SSDs, they are very very expensive. I no longer have the quote I received from them, but for the larger sizes, say 4GB and above, the prices were in the multiple thousands of dollars, if memory serves. This was for the 3.5 inch ATA133 model.

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You know that this is not a new concept....

From the very beginning loading everything into memory was the idea...

I remember booting an old (1981) apple off of a boot floppy to load the OS into memory then if you had enough room in the memory left over you could load a game or word processor otherwise you had to run it off of the floppy, 5-1/4's...

I'll bet that while the seek is great it takes a litle while to load everything into memory....

"g"

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I'll bet that while the seek is great it takes a litle while to load everything into memory....

Oh, that's not how it works!

Even though they are solid state disks, they are still persistent storage. I think the BitMicros are built on flash disk technology which holds its data even when the power is off (just like the flash disk in a digital camera or MP3 player). You can even boot off them if you want. Other SSD implementations use batteries or other power sources to keep the memory charged when the computer is off. But the point is that it's persistent across power cycles. (But personally I wouldn't trust critical data to an implementation that requires a battery or other UPC.)

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I wanted one for my OS drive and to use my hard drives to store a drive image of the OS drive and applications along with data files.

That would give you incredibly quick performance for Windows and if you lost the Ram Drive you just restore the drive image. Also if you wanted to test software / hardware, if you dont like it, you just reimage the drive.

However, The problem with the Cenatek and Platypus drives are that they cannot be booted from, they require you to boot from another drive and run windows drivers to use the drive.

So they leave the realm of "Enthusiast with too much money" and enter the realm of "Boring business tool." Now if I was running a web server or database server, maybe it wouldn't be so dull.

JB

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However, The problem with the Cenatek and Platypus drives are that they cannot be booted from, they require you to boot from another drive and run windows drivers to use the drive.

So they leave the realm of "Enthusiast with too much money" and enter the realm of "Boring business tool."  Now if I was running a web server or database server, maybe it wouldn't be so dull.

In case you ever want to play "rich/foolish enthusiast" again, :) I'm pretty sure you could boot from the BitMicro IDE drives. From the BIOS's point of view they supposedly look just like any other IDE drive. But I've never done this myself so I could be mistaken.

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So they leave the realm of "Enthusiast with too much money" and enter the realm of "Boring business tool." Now if I was running a web server or database server, maybe it wouldn't be so dull.

:( Sadly, it appears so. After reading through their materials a bit more (no pun intended), the drivers provided for cenatek and platypus are OS-dependent... it seems like they could make it recognizable by the bios (pretending to be a scsi drive or some such), but I guess not.

I have also read up a little on the bitmicro drives... those look *nice*, too bad some of them cost as much as a luxury car... I get the impression they aren't really intended for enthusiast-type consumption:

T: Temperature  

(Operating)

C: Commercial (0 to +70 degrees C)  

E: Extended (-25 to +75 degrees C)  

I: Industrial (-40 to +85 degrees C)

M: Military (-60 to +95 degrees C)

I also ran across this on the platypus website faq

Q. Is the capacity of QikCACHE & QikDRIVE limited to 8GB?  

A. No. A series of Platypus storage products can be configured so that the host machine recognizes them as a single, large drive. For example, a 16GB storage space can be created by inserting two x 8GB QikDRIVEs, four x 4GB QikDRIVEs, and so on, as long as additional PCI slots are available.  

The operating system needs to be able to support the creation of these volume sets.  

When I used a mac for all my stuff, it was so 1337 being able to boot out of a ram disk! :twisted: (It was Powermac g3 266mhz, 288mb ram. I set aside half for a ram disk, copied the system folder in, selected start disk, rebooted, done!).

I don't know how feasable this is with OS X, but modern apps want all the ram you can cram. I'm a windows user primarily now. Before any evangelists get on to me, let it be known that using a mac is great and all, so long as you have the software you need (which I didn't).

All very interesting... but the no boot is a deal-killer for me. Not that I really want to spend several thousand on such a device... but mechanical storage will never come even close performance-wise, so it would be an investment I could take from computer to computer for several years at the very least.

I guess it'll be Cheetah for me 'til they make it bootable. :)

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BitMicro drives are bootable, so they make sense. Prices run about 1200 per GB of memory, which is a little rich. They do, however, have drives with sustained r/w rates in the 200's coming - which would be awesome.

However the Platypus and Cenatek make little sense to me. I can add the memory drive on the PCI bus to make it act like a hard drive. It would make more sense to me to buy a e7505 board that supports 12 GB of RAM and use RAM drive software. Then your not pumping the hard drive useage throught he PCI bus and you can always reallocate the memory if your usage patterns change.

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BitMicro drives are bootable, so they make sense.  Prices  

However the Platypus and Cenatek make little sense to me.  I can add the memory drive on the PCI bus to make it act like a hard drive.  It would make more sense to me to buy a e7505 board that supports 12 GB of RAM and use RAM drive software.  Then your not pumping the hard drive useage throught he PCI bus and you can always reallocate the memory if your usage patterns change.

Both the Platypus and Cenatek cards support external power. Both should maintain their data between reboots.

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Yes, but if you make backups to a HDD regularly (probably daily or several times a day for a server) you can always copy the data back to the RAM drive on boot.... this would be no different from having a non-bootable solution in my opinion...

As with any volitile(or possibly volitile as we've been discussing) solution you would probably want daily backups anyway.

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Both the Platypus and Cenatek cards support external power. Both should maintain their data between reboots.

Having spoken to Chris at Cenatek a few months ago, I found out that:

We still don't have a timeframe for a newer, improved Rocket Drive model, although the review is correct in that we are looking to add battery backup to the product but the unit will still have the external power supply attached to it....I would say the best bet is to put the battery version into next year, 2003, probably near the middle or end of 2003.  This is only a guess.. not a hard and fast commitment.

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